Baseball - Tue, May 19, 2009
Joliet, Ill. - After finishing in first place in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) and advancing to the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round last week, the No. 24 ranked Saint Xavier University baseball team learned Monday that six of its players were named to the 2009 All-CCAC Baseball Team when the honors were released by the league office. Senior lefthander Kyle Zilis (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist), senior centerfielder Don Skelly (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist), junior shortstop John O'Brien (Lake Zurich, Ill./Lake Zurich), junior lefthander Jayson Koehn (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) and junior catcher Ken Tezak (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) were all first team selections, while senior first baseman Matt Van Mill (Palos Heights, Ill./Bishop McNamara) earned a spot on the honorable mention team. In addition, Koehn was named the 2009 CCAC Pitcher of the Year, while SXU head coach Mike Dooley was recognized as the 2009 CCAC Coach of the Year. Koehn and O'Brien as well as sophomore third baseman Austin Lehmann (Shorewood, Ill./Minooka) were also named to the 2009 CCAC Gold Glove Team.
Koehn led the entire NAIA in earned run average (ERA) at 1.00 over 12 starts and 72.0 innings pitched this season. He finished the year with a 9-1 record. Zilis was also tough on the mound for the Cougars going 9-3 this season over 13 starts with a 4.28 ERA and team-best 97 strikeouts over 82.0 innings of work. O'Brien led SXU in several statistical categories in 2009, including batting average (.424), doubles (17), triples (5), RBI (72) and assists (139). Skelly had a big senior season hitting .384 (68-for-177) with eight doubles, two triples and four home runs, while also serving as a defensive force in centerfield with 91 putouts and just two errors. Tezak finished as the team's season leader in homers with nine and also posted 12 doubles, four triples and 58 RBI. Van Mill wrapped up his career with an impressive senior campaign hitting .358 (62-for-173) with a team-high tying 17 doubles as well as seven home runs. He was also solid at first base leading the team with 400 putouts, while committing just six errors.
Saint Xavier ended its season last Thursday at the NAIA Baseball National Championship Opening Round in Rome, Ga., and finished with an overall record of 41-15. The Cougars qualified for the postseason by winning the CCAC with a 25-5 mark.